Pet Halloween Costumes Are Alive and Well Friends – Sorry, Fido

There are so many fun layers to All Hallows’ Eve, especially when it comes to pet Halloween costumes. Whether it’s dressing up your own furry friends or checking out your friends’ pet costumes, there’s plenty of cuteness to be had. And it turns out that sales of pet Halloween costumes have skyrocketed in recent years, with nearly $1 billion spent in the industry in 2019 alone. That’s good news for retailers. pet costumes, but that’s probably not what Fido wants to hear.

I adopted my kittens, Reeses and Snickers, just in time for Halloween 2018. I was excited to dress them up, but decided against it because they were too young at the time. This year, however, I picked up an adorable witch cat costume at Target (only one left!) in early October, wasting no time getting into the Halloween spirit. Surprisingly, my Snickers tortie didn’t mind the costume, hanging around in it for at least 30 minutes until she had enough. And of course I took lots of pictures to share with my friends and family.

It looks like I’m not alone in this trend, as 26% of consumers aged 18-24 surveyed in the National Retailer Federation’s 2019 Annual Halloween Spending Survey report that they plan to dress up their creatures for this year’s holiday. When the question was first asked in 2010, 12% planned to dress their pets, rising to 17% nine years later.

Gillian Walters

The most intriguing statistic? According to CBS New York, $490 million in Halloween costume sales for pets are expected this year. This is more than double what was spent in 2010.

It’s possible that the rise in sales is related to social media, as respondents say they are inspired by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. And judging by my Instagram feed, it looks like the pet costume thrill is sharing them with others.

That being said, it is important that your pets are comfortable if you plan to dress them. The witch hat I chose, for example, has a soft, adjustable velcro strap, to avoid wrapping anything around Snickers’ neck. And if Snickers had shown any discomfort or fear, I would have taken it off right away. A good photo is not worth your animal’s well-being.

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

When it comes to safety, make sure your pet’s costume is choking-safe (think buttons and small accessories) and never leave them alone when dressed, according to PetHub. And above all, make sure they can breathe!

If you decide to give your pet a costume this year, consider choosing from this year’s list of favorites, according to Fast Company:

  • Pumpkin
  • hot dog
  • Super hero
  • Bumblebee
  • Cat
  • Witch
  • Lion
  • Dog
  • Devil
  • Shark

Honestly, I’m a bit confused by the cat and dog options, but I guess people dress their dogs like cats and vice versa. And I’m not surprised by pumpkin picking, as it seems like the easiest choice.

So to all pet owners, Happy Halloween! I can’t wait to see all your furry friends in costume.